Review | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


Title: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of The Air #1)

Author: Holly Black

Genre/s: Fantasy, Young Adult.

Expected Publication Date: 2nd January 2018

(Goodreads, AmazonUK, Book Depository.)

Holly Black is a genius. The Cruel Prince is a fairy masterpiece. Fairies and goblins are a couple of my favourite fantasy creatures to read about and there are so many books out there about them already that I love so much. The 'A Court of Thorns and Roses' series, An Enchantment of Ravens, and Wintersong just to name a few. But The Cruel Prince seemed so original and without a doubt stood on it's own. I was stunned at how well put together the plot and characters were. And I easily got lost in Holly Black's lush whimsical world. I didn't want the book to ever end. Usually a first book in a trilogy or series lacks substance and feels like an introduction but I feel as though this book could stand on it's own without a sequel, it was that good. I honestly cannot wait to find out what direction the author will take this story in the future.

'I stand up, having made my decision. For good or ill, I know what I am going to do. I have my plan.'

The plot is fast paced and exciting but also so beautiful and I'm finding myself constantly thinking about the characters. I just can't get them out of my head. The book starts off with a bang when the protagonist Jude's parents are brutally murdered and she along with her two sisters are stolen away and taken to live in the High Court of Fairie. Ten years later, we follow Jude in her quest to find a way to show that she belongs there; but that isn't the easiest thing as humans are despised and treated as slaves. The Fey make no attempt to hide their hate for them. Along the way Jude foolishly makes many enemies including Carden, the youngest prince and son of the High King. But to do what she needs to she must defy the cruel prince and face the repercussions.

There is loads of political intrigue and also, so many intriguing morally grey characters in this book and I am totally living for it. I can't help grinning now, just thinking about it! About half way through, some serious plot twists go down and I was literally clapping my hands and applauding Holly Black for her amazingness.

“But I will not stand in front of your happiness. I will not even stand in front of misery that you choose for yourself.”

To start off I was a bit hesitant, as the story is based in a modern setting. But it kind of worked. It was very different and also intriguing. Jude and her sisters are raised in the mortal world in modern times before they are suddenly taken to the Fairie world. I loved the way the sister relationships were a major aspect in this novel and how it was a crucial part that intertwined with the main plot made a very interesting result. It was an amazing intricately woven web of a story. The only perspective we get is Jude's which is probably the one thing that I think held back the potential as I would have loved to see some of the things that happened from Carden's, or possibly Taryn's point of view. However, even though I personally would have liked that, I do think that Jude as a protagonist was enjoyable and interesting choice of perspective to read from. I especially loved that she is often conflicted and we see her process of deciding what to do. And that there is also a trace of mystery there along with a small amount of uncertainty about whether to trust her narration. I often felt like I was being tricked, the author kept me in a constant state of unease.

I often read a lot before I go to sleep and I had the biggest trouble trying to put this book down. And when I finally did I couldn't sleep anyway because I was constantly thinking about what would happen next.

“Because you’re like a story that hasn’t happened yet. Because I want to see what you will do. I want to be part of the unfolding of the tale.”

Jude wants to be a knight, she doesn't want to settle down and find a husband, she wants to be good enough to feel as though she deserves a place among the Fairie. I thought this was great and I adored the fact that Jude is fighting for what she wants and going against other's wishes to try and become her own person and do what she wants to do. It was so exciting and engaging to read about the obstacles she is constantly overcoming and dealing with the Fairies that are treating her badly. It's always great to see a character stand up for what she believes in and fight against those bullying her. It's empowering.

"What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong?"

This was my first book that I've read by Holly Black, and I loved the way she writes. It's beautiful but also quick and straight to the point, which makes for a very quick read. And also a very fast paced plot. I don't know how she did it but, even though it seemed to move so quickly, so many things were slowly developed especially the relationships. Which I am so glad about! Overall I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this and I am so excited for everyone to get their hands on it and read it next year. It's so good and a stunning fairytale of a read that I highly recommend picking up. I will definitely be reading more from Holly Black soon. I've heard there are characters that appear in this book that are first mentioned in The Darkest Part of the Forest so I am so excited to read that soon. The Cruel Prince is due to be released on the 2nd of January and is available to pre-order now.

Thank you so much to Bonnier Zaffre, Holly Black and NetGalley for providing an e-arc to read and review.

RATING: 5 Stars!

And thank you so much for reading! I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

-Sophie

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